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TONIGHT: Arsenal Women in the Champions League. Group Stage preview

by Andrew Crawshaw

The matches within the four groups that form the last 16 of the Women’s Champions League commence this week

The clubs involved are:-

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Chelsea Breidablik Kopavogur Arsenal Bayern Munich
Juventus PSG FC Barselona BK Häcken FF
Servette FC Chēnois Real Madrid HB Køge Olympic Lyonnais
Vfl Wolfsburg Zhilstroy 1 Kharkiv TSG 1899 Hoffenheim SL Benfica Lisbon

Our matches are

  • Tuesday 5 October – FC Barcelona (Away) 20:00
  • Thursday 14 October – Hoffenheim (Home) 20:00 at Borehamwood
  • Wednesday 10 November – HB Køge (Away)17:45
  • Wednesday 17 November – HB Køge (Home) 20:00 at Borehamwood
  • Thursday 9 December  – FC Barcelona (Home) 20:00 currently at Borehamwood
  • Wednesday 15 December – Hoffenheim (Away) 20:00

Every match in the competition from this round to the final is being live streamed free of charge following a deal struck by UEFA with the streaming service DAZN through their You-Tube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxgii5f9u4YgXCeubCozbEA?app=desktop&sub_confirmation=1

In addition arsenal.com have signed up to carry the coverage of all Arsenal games on the Arsenal Player platform so we will all be able to watch these games free of charge.  Watching on television really isn’t the same as being at the ground to watch the games live and I would urge as many of you as possible to go to Borehamwood to get the full experience.  Look out for tickets through arsenal.com.

As you can see from the above table our group opponents are FC Barcelona, HB Køge and Hoffenheim.  Here is a brief introduction to the three teams and my assessment of how we match up with them on paper

FC Barcelona

The current champions, having beaten Chelsea in last year’s final very conclusively, Barcelona will undoubtedly be the strongest team we face in the group.  The Wikipedia entry gives the following introduction:-

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv

Futbol Club Barcelona Femení is a women’s football team from Barcelona which was founded as Club Femení Barcelona in 1988. It is the women’s section of FC Barcelona. It is the most successful women’s football team in Spain, with six league titles, eight national cups, one UEFA Women’s Champions League and one Spanish supercup.”

Their squad consists of 

No. Pos. Nation Player International
1 GK ESP Sandra Paños (3rd captain) Y
2 DF  ESP Irene Paredes Y
3 DF  ESP Jana Fernández
4 DF  ESP María Pilar León Y
5 DF  ESP Melanie Serrano
6 FW  ESP Clàudia Pina Y
7 MF  NOR Caroline Graham Hansen Y
8 DF  ESP Marta Torrejón (vice-captain) Y
9 FW  ESP Mariona Caldentey
10 FW  ESP Jennifer Hermoso Y
11 MF  ESP Alexia Putellas (captain) Y
12 MF  ESP Patricia Guijarro (4th captain Y
13 GK  ESP Cata Coll
14 MF  ESP Aitana Bonmatí Y
15 DF  ESP Leila Ouahabi Y
16 FW  SWE Fridolina Rolfö Y
17 DF  ESP Andrea Pereira Y
18 DF   SUI Ana-Maria Crnogorčević Y
19 FW  ESP Bruna Vilamala
20 FW  NGA Asisat Oshoala Y
21 FW  ESP Andrea Falcón
22 MF  NED Lieke Martens Y
23 MF  NOR Ingrid Engen Y
24 GK  ESP Gemma Font

Asisat Oshaola is an old Arsenal player and, as far as I am aware, the only ex Gunner in the Barcelona squad.

Barcelona play in the Spanish Primera Iberdrola and currently have a 100% record after four games.  Here is the current League table (I have included Real Madrid as they are in group B and eliminated Manchester City from the competition.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 FC Barcelona 4 4 0 0 26 0 26 12
2 Athletico Madrid 4 4 0 0 13 2 11 12
3 Real Sociadad 4 4 0 0 8 1 7 12
4 Athletic Bilbao 4 3 0 1 7 3 4 9
14 Real Madrid 4 0 1 3 1 8 -7 1

They have a 24 player squad that has 17 full internationals and have a 26-0 goal record in their 4 league matches so far this season.  A truly formidable opponent.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

Again from Wikipedia

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim Frauen is the women’s football section of German club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, based in Hoffenheim, a village of Sinsheim municipality, Baden-Württemberg, inside the Rhine-Neckar. The team currently plays in the Frauen-Bundesliga, the highest level of women’s football in Germany.

No. Pos. Nation Player International
1 GK CRO Martina Tufeković (de)
4 DF  GER Michaela Specht (de)
5 DF   SUI Luana Bühler Y
6 FW  BEL Tinne De Caigny Y
7 MF  GER Chantal Hagel
8 DF  GER Paulina Krumbiegel Y
9 DF  AUT Katharina Naschenweng
10 MF  GER Gia Corley (de)
11 FW  HUN Petra Kocsán Y
13 DF  GER Isabella Hartig (de)
14 MF  AUT Celina Degen
16 FW  AUT Nicole Billa
17 MF  GER Franziska Harsch (de)
18 MF  GER Anne Fühner (de)
19 MF  GER Judith Steinert (de)
21 GK  GER Laura-Johanna Dick
22 DF  GER Sarai Linder (de)
26 DF  AUT Laura Wienroither Y
27 FW  GER Vanessa Leimenstoll
28 GK  GER Lina von Schrader
29 MF  GER Jule Brand Y
31 MF  GER Jana Feldkamp Y
33 MF  GER Fabienne Dongus (captain) Y

Here is their domestic form this season

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Bayern Munich 3 3 0 0 15 0 15 9
2 Vfl Wolfsburg 3 3 0 0 9 0 9 9
3 Eintracht Frankfurt 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
4 TSG Hoffenheim 3 2 1 0 4 2 2 8

Hoffenheim have a smaller squad than Barcelona and with fewer international players (8 out of a 23 player squad.  There is nothing in their form to suggest that they will prove more than a competent opponent.

HB Køge

HB Køge Kvindeelite, commonly known as HB Køge, (previously HB Køge Pigefodbold) is a Danish women’s football club based in Køge, Denmark. The club is currently playing in the Elitedivisionen and like the men’s team, they play their home matches at the Capelli Sport Stadion.

Wikipedia goes on to give the following update to their history

“In January 2020, the club entered into partnership with Capelli Sport and the American Football Academy Slammers FC. The goal for the team is to participate in the UEFA Women’s Champions League within five years and in the women’s section receive the same terms as the men’s team. The former football player and success coach from Brøndby IF Peer Lisdorf, was hired as new head coach for the team.[2][3] In their first season in the Elitedivisionen, Lisdorf successfully led the club to Champions League qualification for the first time in their history whilst also winning their first top-flight title.

Whilst they are undoubtedly the minnows in the group their American backing gives them a far bigger clout in Danish football than their size would suggest.

Their squad comprises mainly Danish with four young American players and a smattering of other nationalities.

No. Pos. Nation Player International
1 GK USA Kaylan Marckese
2 DF  DEN Maria Uhre Nielsen (captain)
3 DF  DEN Julie Nowak
4 DF  DEN Selma Svendsen
5 DF  MEX Arianna Romero Y
6 MF  USA Kelly Fitzgerald
7 FW  IRL Kyra Carusa Y
8 DF  DEN Laura Guldbjerg Pedersen
9 FW  DEN Sofie Hornemann
10 FW  USA Maddie Pokorny
11 MF  DEN Sarah Jankovska Y
12 MF  DEN Anna Walter
13 FW  DEN Cecilie Fløe
15 MF  DEN Cilje Ostenfeld
16 GK  DEN Alberte Andersen
17 FW  DEN Alberte Amby
18 DF  DEN Nadja Brahe Andersen
19 MF  DEN Signe Markvardsen
20 FW  DEN Cornelia Kramer
21 MF  DEN Viktoria Wik
22 DF  DEN Isabella Bryld Obaze
23 FW  LBN Lili Iskandar
24 MF  USA Hannah Adler
30 GK  DEN Freja Solgaard
44 DF  DEN Emma Færge

Their league table is

Pos Team P W D L For Against +/- Pts
1 HB Køge 7 6 1 0 14 3 11 19
2 Dbk Fortuna Hjoerring 7 5 2 0 19 6 13 17
3 FC Thy-Thistedq 7 5 0 2 16 9 7 15
4 Brøndby 7 3 1 3 12 13 -1 10

As I said – punching above their weight in Denmark but it would be a real surprise if they don’t end bottom of this group.

For completeness here is the Arsenal data in the same format and from the same sources:-

Arsenal Women Football Club is an English professional women’s football club based in Islington, London, England that was previously called Arsenal Ladies.

Arsenal are statistically the most successful club in English women’s football, holding the records for most titles won in each domestic competition they have played in. The club have won 15 League titles, 14 FA Women’s Cup, 5 FA WSL Cups, 10 Women’s Premier League Cups, 5 FA Women’s Community Shield, and are the only English club to win the UEFA Women’s Champions League. In the 2006–07 season, the club became the first in the history of women’s football to achieve the continental European sextuple. They are also the only English football club either male or female, to win the Continental Treble while going undefeated in all competitions played that same season.

No. Pos. Nation Player International
1 GK  AUT Manuela Zinsberger Y
3 DF  ENG Lotte Wubben-Moy Y
4 DF  ENG Anna Patten U21
5 DF  SCO Jennifer Beattie Y
6 DF  ENG Leah Williamson Y
7 DF  AUS Steph Catley Y
8 MF  ENG Jordan Nobbs (vice-captain) Y
9 FW  ENG Beth Mead Y
10 MF  SCO Kim Little (captain) Retired
11 FW  NED Vivianne Miedema Y
12 MF  NOR Frida Maanum Y
13 MF   SUI Lia Wälti (3rd captain) Y
14 FW  ENG Nikita Parris Y
15 FW  IRL Katie McCabe Y
16 DF   SUI Noëlle Maritz Y
18 GK  AUS Lydia Williams Y
19 FW  AUS Caitlin Foord Y
20 DF  DEN Simone Boye Sørensen Y
21 MF   SUI Malin Gut Y
22 MF  AUT Viktoria Schnaderbeck Y
23 FW  JPN Mana Iwabuchi Y
77 FW  USA Tobin Heath Y
13 MF   SUI Lia Wälti (3rd captain) Y
14 FW  ENG Nikita Parris Y

WSL league table after 3 matches

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 4 4 0 0 16 2 14 12
2 Chelsea 4 3 0 1 15 5 10 9
3 Tottenham Hotspur 4 4 0 0 6 1 5 12
4 Aston Villa 4 2 1 1 4 6 -2 7

Our squad is not as large as Barcelona but we have more international players.  On paper we should be a match for them and far too strong for Hoffenheim and Køge and certainly it will be a surprise if we fail to qualify for the quarter finals as one of the top two teams from this group.

6 comments to TONIGHT: Arsenal Women in the Champions League. Group Stage preview

  • HT Barça 2 Arsenal 0
    our girls couldn’t be more brave, but these “blaugrana” ladies are very impressive indeed (even though i think their first goal should’ve been ruled out for offside at the beginning of the move)
    scoreline a bit disappointing of course, but an excellent game that is
    come on, girls

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Finals ore 4-1 to Barcelona, like their men a couple of years ago they foul with impunity and get free kicks in their favour whenever an opposition player gets near enough to breathe on them. They must be the luckiest team in the world to get so many decisions in their favour…..

  • Menace

    Spot on Andrew. This official was so damned blatant with her decisions and quick to card Arsenal players and the coach. The foul on Parris by their keeper was so quickly given against Parris, as was the penalty at the end. It must have broken her heart when it was saved.

  • Menace

    AS for off side the first, third and fourth goals were very close and the assistant just didn’t care.

  • this morning in the guardian: Barcelona’s “lesson”, Arsenal “ripped apart”, etc. etc.
    “total absence of decency” + “hating anything arsenal’s guts” is obviously their “football writer” job specification

  • Katie McCabe was yellow-carded for kicking the ball away after a foul. Less than 15 minutes later a Barcelona player did the same thing. No card.

    The commentary team were quick to praise the referee throughout the game. Which match were they watching?

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